Some tips for the NYC Marathon

Happy Wednesday!


In my internet browsing and friendly chats with former NYC Marathon runners, I have complied a small list of tips that I will be remembering for the big day on November 2nd. The NYRR/NYC Marathon just released their guide for the 2014 Marathon as well. It is a good read for all those participating – both runners and any friends/family going to the race as well.

NYC Marathon Tips


Tip #1 – Wear a different pair of shoes in the start village

This tip comes from this website. BUT – I’ve also learned this the hard way by wearing running shoes on rainy days at the track or on any evening in the Fall at the track. There could be some dew on the grass in the morning, or it could be raining. You don’t want to start your marathon in wet shoes!  If you have a pair of retired shoes, bring those and then donate them right before you head into the corrals.

Tip #2 – Bring Toilet Paper!

I’ve read this tip on a number of sites. But apparently the TP runs out mid-morning. Most of us will be at the start village for at least 2 hours, so there is bound to be some business happening.

Tip #3 – Have a specific location to meet your friends/family after

This is especially important for NYC as there are a number of zones that are “frozen” to the public – mainly Central Park West and associated blocks east of Columbus. Nobody can get in these streets – so be warned. There is a family reunion area you can pick – or find another location. Note that cell service can be really saturated and you may have difficulties making a call

Tip #4 – Stay away from the edge

It seems like most of my NYC Marathon friends are joining me in the Green corrals – which means we are going on the lower deck of the bridge. Unless Golden Showers are your thing – stay away from the edges of the bridge. People think that I am joking when I mention this – but I am not. Sometimes vomit happens too – Mark Sutcliffe, writer of “Why I run” and one of the leaders of iRun) wrote in “Why I Run” that he was vomited on. Gross! If you are a runner on the top deck, can you please not pee or puke over the edge? K, thanks!

Tip #5 – Bring something to sit on

I am on the 7:45 ferry. I am not racing til 10:30am. Therefore I have a good 1.5 hours (at least) of sitting time before going to the corrals. I have zero plans of standing for that long – so bring a newspaper, garbage bag or old spike bag to sit on. Do NOT bring a lawn chair or something like that.

Tip #6 – Remember!

Daylight savings time ends at 2am on Marathon day – so what does that mean? Fall back – sleep in time! I can’t think of a better day for this to happen. Your phones will likely auto-change, but if you use an alarm clock, don’t forget. You will just be early if you make a mistake though 🙂

Tip #7 – Throw away layers

Pretty common – but remember that there are plenty of donation bins for throw away layers. If the temperature is going to hover around 10-15C, most likely we will want to shed extra layers by KM 5 or so. Wear layers that you are ok with giving away. Your base layer is your ‘keep clothes’ because running naked isn’t allowed. Also – you could be very chilled after you stop running – if you chose the ‘no bags’ option, have a friend/family member carry a change of clothes for you. We do get a slick poncho though!

Tip # 8 Have a plan

Ok – this tip is from people have run the marathon. I will be doing my best to stick to this tip myself- start off slow! Do not run up the huge bridge thinking that you will recover later – you probably won’t. The excitement of the race generally has people flying up the bridge and soaring through Brooklyn. The last bridge back to Manhattan and Central Park do not feature huge hills – but the hills are big enough that it is going to suck hard if you have no energy left. Stay in the ‘yellow zone’ (easy peasy running) until you reach Manhattan.

Tip # 9 Rest your legs

It is going to be really hard to not take part in my usual NYC activities – but try and not be a tourist the day before the marathon. Although I do plan on doing 1-2 things, I am planning on sitting my butt down in the hotel in the late afternoon and staying there. I am even thinking that it will be take out or room service for dinner that night. If you don’t have a child – go see a Broadway play!

Tip # 10 – Try to pay some attention/have fun

Try not to be overly serious on marathon day. Enjoy the experience! For many of us, it took years to get in this race and mostly likely we will not be back for awhile. Take a chance to look to your left and right on all the bridges. Stop (with warning and off to the side!) and take a picture. Give high fives. Stay focused – but have fun


I hope to see some of you on marathon day! 

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  1. Amy

    I am so excited for you! The pre-race waiting would drive me nuts, but I am sure it will be exciting. It sounds like you have a smart plan and you will enjoy this race!
    Amy recently posted…Denver Rock ‘N Roll Half MarathonMy Profile

  2. Kristen @ Glitter and Dust

    That is awesome that Daylight savings is the night before. I wonder if they planned it that way. These are great tips for NYC and any of the larger races that require you to wait around before start time. I never thought about bringing an old pair of shoes and then changing right before the race starts. I couldn’t imagine being vomited on. No thank you.
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Life In Recovery ModeMy Profile

    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      I really hope no bodily fluids hit me during the bridge part!

  3. Mike

    Excellent tips. I love Runar’s website. You probably saw the link on the advice website but he has a good page with spectator advice too:

    Can’t believe it’s getting so close!


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